My Life in Verbs

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Drinking: homemade gingerbread lattes. I love the gingerbread lattes at Starbucks, but they are so darn expensive! So I figured out a way to basically make gingerbread simple syrup at home. Yesssss.

Joining: the Injustice BoycottI am excited that there is a tangible way to advocate for justice. If you want to combat police brutality, racial violence and systemic injustice in America through organized resistance, please join in this nationwide boycott.

Reading: several books, as usual. First, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. To be honest, I’m struggling through this book. It has been recommended to me by multiple people, and I love the concept, but at this point I find the style sort of verbose and annoying. Second, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer. Yep, I have a very fat book with a huge swastika on it. I started reading this because I am interested in having a clearer picture of what happened in Germany through the life and leadership of Hitler. I know, very light reading. Third, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. It is my third time going through this book, and my soul is refreshed and refocused every single time.

Watching: This Is Us on Netflix. I watched the first episode and felt so many feelings. Anyone else watching it? Is it worth pursuing? I feel like it may be a balm to my soul as it misses the show Parenthood.

Loving: my friend Christina Grenga’s Food Freedom & Faith program. She created this 8-week course to help people on the journey to physical, mental, and spiritual health. The program begins January 2, 2017. Click here to sign up for Food Freedom & Faith.

Dreaming: about what I want to create in 2017. If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you’ll know that I am passionate about creating. Creativity fuels my life in so many ways. Currently, I’m thinking of creating a community for creators, artists, writers, and entrepreneurs, and anyone with a calling to create. This idea has been brewing for a while, and I’m excited to take action with this in January. Are you in the process of writing, creating art, starting a business, or making something that doesn’t yet exist? Let me know, and I’d love to connect!

Okay, your turn. What’s going on with you? Share some of your verbs in the comments.

Coffee Ice Cream

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The great thing about coffee ice cream is how amazing it tastes. The not so great thing is that if you eat some at night, you may not be able to sleep because of all the caffeine. I was an insomniac until 4am.

I made coffee ice cream to accompany our Thanksgiving meal a few weeks ago. Mmm…it was so delicious. Creamy, rich with real coffee, and a perfect sidekick to the pumpkin pie.

The photo above was literally taken before I ate up the very last spoonful of ice cream. That’s how good it was, and how quickly we ate it up.

Coffee Ice Cream

Print this recipe
Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (decaf or regular)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee

Directions

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream until it is quite warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.

Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (not boiling!). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the heated milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof, flat-bottomed spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.

Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Best Recipes For An Amazing Thanksgiving Meal

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I am really passionate about Thanksgiving. Our family celebrates Thanksgiving through the entire month of November with our Thanksgiving tree tradition.

Most years we host a family/friends Thanksgiving gathering at our house, and this year will be no different. Usually we share the work of cooking the variety of Thanksgiving food. Mom’s making roast turkey, my husband does the sweet potatoes, I don’t trust anyone but myself to cook the stuffing.

After hosting Thanksgiving for so many years, I figured I needed to start curating the list of recipes that have become classics (or at least repeats) for our Thanksgiving meal. And yay for you, I’m writing this post far enough in advance so you can plan an amazing meal.

Happy cooking, eating, and merriment!

Roast Turkey

Good Eats Roast Turkey (from Alton Brown) – This turkey recipe has over 5,000 reviews, for good reason. It’s super flavorful and moist.

Perfect Turkey – I’ve made this recipe a few times, with and without the brine. It’s well-seasoned.

Perfect Roast Turkey – This is the one roast turkey recipe I’d go with. Ina’s methods are classic and simple, and really do result in the perfect roast turkey. When in doubt, always trust Ina.

Side Dishes

Perfectly Easy Dinner Rolls – This is a family favorite that I learned from my mom. Light, buttery, and quite a bit like King’s Hawaiian Sweet Bread.

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole – If sweet potatoes are your thing, this dish is for you. My husband has made this one for years.

Corn Casserole – I didn’t grow up eating corn casserole (sometimes called cornbread pudding). One Thanksgiving my friend Ethel brought this dish over, and I was like, “What IS this?” I’ve been fixing this recipe ever since. It’s super simple to make, and the perfect sidekick to all the other traditional Thanksgiving fare.

Green Bean Casserole With Crispy Onions – I love how fresh this recipe is. It takes some extra prep, but it’s worth it.

Sausage and Herb Stuffing – I make this stuffing every year. Tip: you can make it in a crockpot to save precious oven space for other dishes.

Classic Mashed Potatoes – A no-fuss mashed potatoes recipe. It’s all you need.

Cranberry Sauce – Please, for the love of food, do not serve canned cranberry sauce (aka gross lump of jelly). This recipe is what cranberry sauce is supposed to be.

Desserts

Apple Pie – I think apple pie is good any time of the year. So why not add it to your Thanksgiving table?

Sticky Toffee Pudding – This is another Thanksgiving repeat for us (and sometimes makes an appearance at Christmas). I think this goes so well with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Pie – The obvious choice for Thanksgiving dessert. You can make this a day or two in advance if you’re trying to space out your meal prep.

Crack Pie – Have you tried Crack Pie yet? It’s a real thing, and it will blow your mind.

Creme Brulee – If you want to have a fancier dessert, make creme brulee.

Leftovers

Jook (Chinese Porridge) – I come from a Chinese family that traditionally makes this porridge with the leftover turkey meat and carcass after Thanksgiving. It makes a great post-Thanksgiving day dinner.

The Great After-Thanksgiving Turkey Enchiladas – A great way to use leftover turkey.

Lemon Turkey Noodle Soup – This recipe is just as good with turkey as it is with chicken. We love this soup on a cold day.

More Thanksgiving Ideas

Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well

Thanksgiving Cookbook: 100 Simple and Easy Holiday Recipes

Please share in the comments…what are you making for Thanksgiving? Do you have any recipes to share?